Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Festival hero Yorkhill heads Mullins team for Naas event

Willie Mullins has two other possibles in American Tom and Royal Caviar. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Willie Mullins has two other possibles in American Tom and Royal Caviar. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

Exciting recruit Yorkhill heads 10 entries for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase at Naas on Sunday.

Winner of last season's Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Yorkhill made a successful debut over fences when easily landing the odds at Fairyhouse last month.

The seven-year-old, owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, is trained by Willie Mullins, who has two other possibles in American Tom and Royal Caviar.

Gordon Elliott has put in four - Ball D'Arc, Double Scores, General Principle and Stone Hard - while Road To Respect, Some Plan and Velocity Boy complete the list.

Ted Walsh is in no rush to make plans for impressive Navan winner Any Second Now after ruling out a step up to Grade One company at Naas.

The JP McManus-owned gelding was among the defectors from the Lawlor's Hotel Novice Hurdle, with Walsh feeling it would be a "bit much" to ask the five-year-old to tackle top-level opposition on just his second outing.

Any Second Now sprang a 66/1 shock on his debut last month when winning a hotly-contested maiden hurdle in some style.

"I've no immediate plans for him," said Walsh. "He's had only the one run so we'll try and pick a nice stepping-stone for him.

"We'll look for something in the next couple of weeks. There isn't a lot for a horse like him. There is actually no winners-of-one races this side of Cheltenham. He'll have to run in either a Listed or Graded novice race."

Though Any Second Now misses out at the weekend, nine runners have stood their ground for the two-and-a-half-mile feature.

Mullins has won the last three renewals with Bellshill, Mckinley and Briar Hill, and has three in contention this time.

Exciting

Augusta Kate was a winner on her hurdling bow at Thurles in November and could make the leap to Grade One level, with stablemates Asthuria and Turcagua also in the mix.

Gordon Elliott could also be triple-handed, with the exciting Death Duty, unbeaten in three starts over hurdles, seemingly his main hope. Elliott could also run Blood Crazed Tiger and Runfordave. Noel Meade's Bel Ami De Sivola, the Mouse Morris-trained Vinalhaven and Enda Bolger's Stand Up And Fight complete the list of contenders.

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